I am very impressed by A-Lin's efforts in her newest album "幸福了然后呢 HAPPINESS, WHAT NEXT?". Despite it being surrounded by mass controversy right now because of the denomination of her popular single of the same name (due to it being labelled a cover of Ting Chu's original which Producer SKOT SUYAMA 陶山 indicated that it was a demo); I really do think that her first single is deserved of the nomination either way. Skot's work on this song was really really special; I loved the way that he used different instrumental combiantions such as the guitar and drums together, and the piano and violin together; two very different atmospheric combinations when used at the right times creates the perfect effect. I also especially loved the use of percussion and A-Lin's vocal runs during the bridge of the song , not to mention that the song itself is really catchy!
Also working with her friend and labelmate XIAO YU 宋念宇 who was also nominated for the Best Male Mandarin singer at the 2013 Golden Melody awards; they collaborated on two songs together; <Woman in Love> and <920>. These two songs are favourites of mine on the album not just because I've been a fan of Xiao Yu's work for a long time, but because of the vibes that come from these songs.
I love the intimacy of <Woman In Love> that really reflects the personal atmosphere threaded throughout the album. The demo clip at the start where both of them are singing and playing together really brings it together and in the last phrase of the chorus within the demo I find it really awesome that I can actually hear A-Lin's smile when she's singing, and it makes me happy to know that she really was happy while creating this song! it's A-Lin's first time trying her hand at RnB within this single but she does it so effortlessly due to the versatility of her voice. She has totally grasped the feel of the song and I am also really proud that she's written the lyrics for this song, as well had a hand in the creative process of three other songs on the album: <920>, <Purple Rain> and <最后的天堂 The Last Heaven> which are incidentally all my favourite songs on the album because of the lyrics!
Working with Skot on <Purple Rain> as well, awesome melody but what really stood out to me were A-Lin's lyrics. She wrote this song for a dear friend who has passed on and although the lyrics aren't perfectly lyrical and flowing, the heart and honesty within her voice and the lyrics was just so clear to me that I loved it straight away. The way that she sings into the microphone; every breath that she takes is filled with pain and sorrow and longing and it really comes out in the song.
On a lighter note, her duet with Xiao Yu is typical of his usual upbeat RnB hip-hop combos and I just couldn't help but tap my feet and swing along to the irresistible rhythm of this song. This song also has a special meaning as Xiao Yu wrote it for A-Lin as a birthday present to her; as 920 is her birthday which adds another dimension of intimacy to the album. <最后的天堂 The Last Heaven> shows the pride A-Lin has for her aboriginal heritage and just has a kind of warmth that I will never forget. Overall; it is the intimacy that becomes the highlight of this album; and I feel that it is her best one yet!